It was another no-brainer option decision for the Cubs today, as they picked up the $16.5 million 2020 option on Anthony Rizzo’s contract.
Cubs news: In the least surprising move of the off-season, a league source indicates the Cubs have picked up Anthony Rizzo's option for 2020 at $16.5 million. Team should announce it later today.
— Jesse Rogers (@ESPNChiCubs) November 3, 2019
The decision was spaced out from yesterday’s, I’m guessing, only because of a super short and unlikely extension chat, or because the Cubs otherwise wanted a chance to communicate something with Rizzo before making the announcement and didn’t have a chance until today.
In any case, Rizzo gets his $16.5 million for next year (with another $16.5 million team option for 2021, both boosted by his earlier top-5 MVP finishes), which will mean that his original seven-year, $41 million pre-arb extension will wind up a nine-year, $77 million deal thanks to bonuses and escalators. Certainly nowhere near his market value, BUT a strong dollar total for a player who signed his deal before he had a year’s service time.
For a comparison, Eloy Jimenez’s pre-arb deal – signed nine years later! – with the White Sox could be for eight years and $78 million if two club options are picked up. Jimenez can’t play defense and didn’t have any service time yet, but that was nine years later. That is just to say, Rizzo’s deal will wind up being pretty much what you’d expect for a pre-arb signee who played very well.
Here’s hoping Rizzo, 30, has many more productive and financially lucrative years ahead of him.
Tomorrow is the deadline for options decisions, and the Cubs still have three more: David Phelps ($5 million – no buyout, and I expect that will be declined), Kendall Graveman ($3 million – no buyout, and I tentatively expect it will be picked up), and Brandon Morrow ($12 million – $3 million buyout, and it will extremely be declined).